Sunday, August 14, 2022

We’re Gonny Need Another Baw.

Some of us are old enough to remember the days when we played football in the streets with lamp posts for goals. The “baw” in my day was a plastic “Hampden Frido” (with wee studs that left yer forehead looking like a golf ball when heading it – see picture) and a “Wembley Mettoy”.

Cue memories of MouldMasters and days of pain and glory

But I digress.

The plastic ball was prone to bursting and on a good day or evening a replacement was secured by the original version of crowd funding.; However, the Calton then was a poor neighbourhood and sometimes the “baw” depended on the generosity of a single provider.

This came with risks because generous folk can still be bad losers and if the provider’s team of rags, taigs and bluenoses (remember when that didn’t matter)  was getting  a drubbing or a high shot was deemed a goal but he protested because he was only 4 feet 6  tall and ,with no crossbar ,height is but a subjective perspective, hence argumentative, or perhaps the goal that created a 10 goal  gap occasionally saw the baw ,metaphorical if not physically, land on the slates, at which point the provider and now owner, out of his sense of entitlement as owner, grab the baw and threatened to storm off in the huff.

As long as the game was everything and in the Calton then EVERYTHING was fitbaw, the bawless plebs were only too willing to reduce the imaginary cross bar height or take their foot off the gas, hence the derogatory saying of those who capitulate too easily “they hivnae any baws”.

Memories! Wit are they like and what is the connection to modern day Scottish professional football?

I’m indebted to this article by The Battered Bunnet first posted on CQN on 30 June 2012 at  since reproduced on other blogs including SFM but worth reproducing here:

“Senior Hampden source tells ch4news cannot see how RFC were allowed to play lastseason at all. Doesn’t believe they met finance criteria…”

Alex Thomson – Twitter

Alex Thomson’s tweets yesterday re ‘senior Hampden source’ casting doubt on Rangers’ eligibility to obtain a Club Licence last year were rather intriguing.

We have by now a clearer picture of the failure of governance at Rangers through the David Murray/ John McClelland/ Alastair Johnston/ Craig Whyte years, albeit we await further definitive details from the judgement of the Tax Tribunal. Essentially, over a period spanning 2 decades, the means that Rangers used to sustain its football operation utterly disregarded the requirements of both corporate governance and football regulation. While the scandal related solely to payments and procedures within Rangers, we could hope that it was contained internally.

However, the revelation that Rangers paid former manager Souness via EBT while he was manager at Blackburn Rovers confirmed for the first time that the scandal had become external. I understand that RangersTaxCase and Alex Thomson have further information on the extent of payments to Souness and also to Walter Smith, and look forward to the details being revealed, but it is now clear that the Rangers ‘toxin’ had leached out of the club by 2001.

The compelling question now is: How far did the toxin spread?

Was it contained within the ‘outer circle’ of former Rangers employees, however inexplicable such payments may appear? Or did it extend beyond that outer circle, and contaminate senior figures in the Game in Scotland. The contamination does not relate solely to payments from Rangers’offshore trust, but more subtly perhaps, the behaviour of individuals in positions of influence.

We know that Rangers’ Executive Chairman JohnMcClelland was an SPL Board member during the startling ramp up of EBT use from 2003 to 2005, and was himself a beneficiary of the scheme.

We know that Rangers’ Chief Executive Martin Bain was an SPL Board member 2008 to 2011, coinciding with the receipt by Rangers of the HMRC assessments on the EBT scheme, of which he was himself a beneficiary.

We know that current SFA President Campbell Ogilvie was simultaneously an SFA Director and Executive Director and Company Secretary of Rangers, and was a beneficiary of the scheme.

These parallel functions of course present a profound conflict of interest for each man, at once implementing a scam on the Game to disguise a fraud on the Revenue, while owing specific legal duties of care to the Game being scammed.

So far, so shabby.

Thomson’s tweets yesterday indicate a doubt on the part of a ‘senior Hampden source’ that Rangers were eligible to hold a Club Licence last season, thus disqualifying them from participating in European competition, and perhaps Scottish Football too. Is this doubt grounded in a retrospective review of the licence qualifying criteria given what has emerged recently? Or was there a ‘blind eye’ turned by the SFA’s Licensing Committee to information in the public domain at the time of the Licence application? In this respect the ‘Wee Tax Case’ represented a fundamental failure against at least one Licence criterion.

The proposals to the SFL clubs this week make it plain that should the SFA conclude the outstanding Disciplinary issues against Rangers with either suspension or expulsion of Rangers from the SFA(perhaps the only sanctions remaining available to the SFA following Lord Glennie’s Judicial Review) that the Game will face ‘financial meltdown’.

Concurrently, the SPL has adjudged Rangers to have a prima facie case to answer in respect of SPL rule breaches on player registration, the outcome of which will confirm that the club fielded ineligible players in upwards of 400 SPL matches. The only possible disciplinary outcome given such a sustained breach of SPL rules, corrupting the completion as it did from its inception in 1999 to 2011, is expulsion from theSPL.

As a consequence, the SFA, as the authority responsible for implementing FIFA’s Rules on the Registration of Players, will be required to act on these breaches of FIFA rules. Again, expulsion for what amounts to Championship fixing is inevitable.

Curiously, the SFL, this week asking its members to vote to admit the Sevco Rangers club into their top tier, has the same issue given that its League Cup competition featured dozens of ineligible Rangers players through the years, and further claims by Hugh Adam that its‘Premier Division’ competition during the 1990s was similarly bent through the use of ‘off the books’ payments to players by Rangers.

The scale of it all is breath-taking and were the rules of the Game to be applied, Rangers FC would be expelled from each Governing body in turn, before we even consider the extraordinary breaches of faith and duties by co-serving Directors.

But according to the SFL/SFA/SPL circular to clubs, “Rangers Terminated or Suspended’ will cause “Financial Meltdown”.

To avoid this meltdown, it is proposed by the Executives of the combined SFL/SFA/SPL that the rules of the Game are not applied to Rangers, and that the clubs effectively rewrite the rule book to permit what remains of the club to compete at the top of the SFL.

In effect, according to the Governing Bodies,the Rules of the Game CANNOT be applied to Rangers or the Game’s finances will‘meltdown’.

The corollary question this raises is: For how long have the Governing bodies been so unable to apply the Rules of the Game to Rangers? Is this a new epiphany, or a longer standing recognition?

When Rangers submitted their allegedly ineligible application for a Club Licence in 2011, did the SFA recognise that Rangers failing to participate in Europe would cause the club to fail, as it subsequently did? Were the Rules ignored to avoid ‘financial meltdown’ then?

How far did the toxin spread?

Did this recognition extend back to the period following the disintegration of Murray International, hitherto Rangers’ source of continuing funding? Was the season of ‘Honest Mistakes’ some absurd, dutiful reaction to the recognition that should Rangers fail, Scottish Football would melt down?

Was the ineligible status of so many of Rangers’ first team players noticed prior to the SPL’s Inquiry commencing on 5th March? Was it noticed in an Audit as part of the SFA’s Club Licensing process some years ago? Was it noticed by the recent SFA Chief Executive Gordon Smith, who as an Agent had represented players on Rangers’ books through his Directorship of Prostar Management and other Agencies?

Beyond the duplicity of Ogilvie, McClelland and Bain, were Rangers’ irregular practices known to others at the SFA and SPL,others who chose not to address the matter, thus further contaminated the Governing Bodies with the Rangers toxin?

It is heartening that the Liquidators of Rangers plc will be instructed to examine all of the circumstances surrounding the failure of Rangers as a corporate entity. Equally, perhaps the detail contained in the Tax Tribunal judgement will reveal further connections,hitherto unknown.

What is likely to remain hidden from view though, is the full extent to which key influencers at the Governing Bodies were aware of Rangers’ conduct and circumstances, and how this affected their behaviour and their decision making in applying the rules of the Game to that club.

What we can say with certainty now though is that the people holding office at the Governing Bodies are unable or unwilling to apply the Rules of the Game to Rangers, despite the breaches being fundamentally and profoundly corrupt. The SFA and SPL, despite having outstanding disciplinary cases against Rangers that will, in all other circumstances see the club expelled from the Game, are intent to delete the cases provided the SFL clubs accept the Sevco Rangers into the SFL’s top division.

The Rules of the Game cannot be applied to Rangers.

When the rules cannot be applied, the Game itself is broken, and we can say now with some certainty that the Rangers toxin has spread beyond the club, its former employees and Directors of the Governing Bodies, and contaminated the very Game itself. The Office Bearers of the SFA,whose FIFA mandate requires them to “protect and foster the Game” in Scotland,and “protect it from abuses”, have contrived to do the contrary, to the point where the Game is stricken.

It is for this reason that a thorough clear out of the Office Bearers in the Governing Bodies is now a prerequisite to the Game recovering from the poison inflicted upon it by Rangers. The dissolution of the Governing Bodies is perhaps appropriate.

Clear your desk Gentlemen, the bus to ignominy departs shortly.

The position that the SFA and then SPL found themselves in is perfectly clear from the foregoing. Desperately keen for commercial reasons to hold onto the “baw” they changed the rules, but never took ownership of the baw from the owner and so are still beholden to him.

Hence the blog title “We Are Going To Need Another Baw “ because the one currently in play is burst, stuffed with £14M worth of share vouchers.

What was done in 2012 was understandably commercially necessary, but the price to be paid was twofold:

  1. Not just to the integrity of our game then but the ongoing price now, where all energies are directed at continuing to pretend that the rules are followed without fear of favour.
  2. The idea that the Scottish game cannot survive without a “ Rangers”  is one that most folk would accept but the danger arising, which is unacceptable, is that because of it “Rangers” think they can do as they please as a result which requires rules to be reinforced. And seen to be reinforced.

They clearly aren’t under the SFA’s own rule enforcing process called the Judicial Panel Protocol   not to mention Club Licensing processes that have so far manged to avoid the scrutiny that, had Resolution 12 been acted upon in 2013,  would have resulted in changes that would protect the game from all those who think it is still their baw.

The general perception of supporters is that lessons have not been learned from past behaviour.

Until there is evidence that they have, for example: the Judicial Panel Disciplinary Tribunal investigating at snail’s pace the process followed in 2011 that allowed a UEFA licence to be granted to Rangers FC without question, coming to conclusion or providing reasons why it cannot by the spring, the perception will continue to be   “Its all about Rangers”  followed by what is the point?.

Is it not about time now that the fear that drove thinking in 2012 was faced and recognised by all clubs as unfounded and a new integrity filled baw was used?

What is there to fear now from restoring integrity to its rightful place, unless of course you were party to the thinking that kicked the integrity of our game to death in 2012 and are still in a position of influence?

Celtic fan from Glasgow living mostly in Spain. A contributor to several websites, discussion groups and blogs, and a member of the Resolution 12 Celtic shareholders' group. Committed to sporting integrity, good governance, and the idea that football is interdependent. We all need each other in the game.

Related Articles


  1. Paddymalarkey@14.55

    There does seem to be a concerted campaign to blame t’Rangers travails on anyone and anything other than a struggling business obliged to scrape by and living on the edge of oblivion.

  2. Why all the fuss about foreign referees?

    We clearly have sub standard officials irrespective of their personal backgrounds.

    Football, even in this wee country, has been employing foreign players for as long as I can remember; to the benefit of the game. What’s wrong with recruiting from abroad?

    After all it is a business, or so we are told.

  3. Ex Ludo 20th February 2019 at 15:52 That was quick. Stand by for the next exciting development.


    And to quote this Referees' statement, it is indeed "an appalling development".

    A country steeped in football history for c.150 years – yet we feel the need NOW to import help to improve the officiating of a game which we helped to spread and develop around the world!

    And, what the refs have arrogantly failed to ask is;

    "Why do most (?) of the supporters – I.e. the paying customers who actually fund our pay and expenses – embrace the suggestion to import foreign officials?"


    The Referees' Association is certainly in alignment with the SFA though: they just don't give a monkey's about the supporters – or their opinions.

    Hell mend them!

  4. Interesting to read the Referees Association statement going on about basic workers rights. I wonder how up to speed they are on Diversity and Inclusion Law. Perhaps they should be careful what they wish for. 

  5. Following on from the 'secret summit' at Hampden on Monday, I was curious to see who was officiating at the TRFC v Killie game tonight.


    Couldn't find anything all day: not on the SFA website, nothing in the SMSM, or Sky etc.


    It's only in the last half hour or so – with lineups announced -that the ref has been confirmed as Alan Muir.

    Don't know the rest of the officiating team yet.


    …a supporter would think that the SFA wanted to keep this a secret as well…

  6. So sky sources in hampden say the sfa say importing refs is a non starter and will not be given serious consideration. What are the chances of mr i am the sfa broadbrain being the source.

  7. The Gombeen Man chips in his tuppenceworth.


    He completely misses the point. Scottish referees may be every bit as competent as any other country’s. The problem is, many of them appear to be biased. They are run by an openly corrupt organisation (SFA) and despite huge inconsistencies in performance, including many blatantly wrong decisions, the (SFA) control freaks have been happy with the status quo for decades.


    Beaton's latest Ibrox performance, with the subsequent fall out re. no retrospective punishment for Morelos, was the straw to break the camel's back.

    Why not have referees declare any allegiance? Why not recruit from outside Scotland? Why not publish referees match reports and any assessments?

    No, that would involve transparency, the no.1 enemy of the SFA.

    Mr English, many of the paying public, (supporters) believe there is an engrained bias in Scotland's referees. This would have no bearing on their performances in Europe or Worldwide. Mr Beaton is a competent referee. I am sure he would be capable of refereeing a World Cup final.

    I would not however, trust him to be "competent" in Scotland, where his and many of his ilk's favourite team plays. Therein lies the problem



  8. Tom English

    Introducing referees from other countries would be a cowardly surrender to the mad conspiracy theorists. Hope this proposal is chucked in the bin where it belongs…
    Me.. What are the conspiracies Tom?
    still waiting on a reply.

  9. Haven't seen the game obviously but 2 died in the wool rangers men say Killie should have had a penalty, (Gordon, I know nothing Smith) and the Killie keeper should not have been sent off, (Neil EBT McCann).

    A game TRFC desperately need to win and here we go again. Are you watching Mr English. Would you not think when 90% of contentious decisions go in favour of the Ibrox club, there might be some bias???

  10. Scottish Football Away Days on Facebook has clip of Bachmanns sending off.


    Given Gordon Smith was waxing lyrical about hating cheats and play acting on Radio Shortbread pre-game, it will be interesting to hear his views on this one. 

  11. And they wonder why 11 clubs from 12 want neutral refs should have been a penalty for killie in 2 mins, red card for killie keeper now (someone should have told Kamara the Oscars were last week mind you didn’t take him long to learn the sevco way). Candieas red card all day for anyone apart from servo players(will Gerrard complain about reffing inconsistencies now or Robertsons trial by sportscene somehow I think not). To people on this site who defend sevco surely you must feel ashamed when you hear this or watch this, I think it is only a matter of time before an owner or chairman tells the manager to take the team off the park as there is no point carrying on.

    When will other club ceo's owners grow a pair of blocks or t#ts whatever is appropriate and stand up to this shit.

    I dont know about other people but I just feel sick when i watch supposedly  competent people either be so corruptly incompetent or on the take.

    No doubt after this Muir will be head of referees after this performance.

    Sad times when this has become the norm rather than the exception

  12. Also while I am peed off here hopefully Steve Clarke will say Muir tonight wasn't  just incompetent that he was corrupt TOTALLY CORRUPT there can be no other explanation for the refs performance tonight.

    If he did say something then the 10 other clubs should pay his fine or hang their heads in shame for ever and then they would deserve to lose 1000s of fans forever.

    I have had my fill of this shit the SFA make CORRUPT businesses look kosher geez even David Murray would be embarrassed now to be associated with the SFA

  13. I doubt any supporters of sevco know the meaning of that word (shame).Neutral refs must be brought in now all clubs should refuse to be reffed by any of this lot as they are not even trying to hide the cheating anymore, as kentes said it didn't take kamara long to get schooled in the sevco way a total disgrace.

  14. Just read the BBCs report on the game Gordon Smith says Candieas was brilliant as he set up 3 goals for the gruffalo but he should have had a red card for a bad tackle (no chance of retrospective action now). Kamara again no action will be taken.

    Can't believe what I have just witnessed surely Tom English, Keef Jackson etc have to admit the game as it is now is fecked.

    Aw well I will now spend my football money on a game of darts on a Friday night now at least I know that the game will be honest maybe drunk but drunkenly honest

  15. " iki iki @tomamca

    Replying to @CelticBlog2018 , and @Pmacgiollabhain

    After a hastily convened meeting, foreign referees issue statement.

    "There is no way we are going to work for a shower of cheats at SFA"

    10:10 pm · 20 Feb 2019 · Twitter for Android "



  16. Just seen the worral brophy incident at the start of the match stonewall pen and a red card can't believe that they are getting away with this an effin disgrace.

  17. I think Steve Clarke is for the high jump but well said.

    Quotes attributed to him include his saying that the standard of refereeing “is a joke. What’s the point, we might as well all go home?”

    And he poured derision and scorn on the Ibrox club when he said that when they approached him about the job (there’s a story right there) they told him “They said it (sectarian abuse) was gone from the West of Scotland … I thank Chelsea for taking me and my children away from this (abuse).”

    He was furious about what he had to endure as he did his job this evening.

    Let's see how the scummy smsm report this tomorrow.

  18. Sportscene highlights didn’t show this “offside ruling” which stopped St Mirren going 1-3 up on Aberdeen.

    doubtless an honest mistake, despite the linesman being right beside the”offending” McAllister…

    and there has been no concerrted whingeing by St Mirren fans, as these things even out over eternity, in Scotland.

    And I never mentioned it on here as I don’t believe this site is the place to foster Whataboutery.

    but as the place is now awash with whataboutery and manufactured hurt feelings…

  19. Lots of penalties this weekend then , every time a player brushes agin a raised arm . Just because McGregor got sanctioned .Has it really come to this ? 

  20. Well, the Aberdeen v TRFC game has all the makings of not just a highly controversial game, but a game involving all sorts of bedlam – both during and after the game.


    Will there have to be some real form of 'social unrest' -around a football game triggered by 'puzzling' ref decisions – before the SFA takes it head out of the sand?


    I honestly don't think the SFA has a clue how to deal with this. 


  21. How bad is it going to get now? It looks already like someone has engraved t’Rangers name on the cup. Aberdeen should now be advocating for a foreign referee to officiate at their next cup match.

    From the short clips I have viewed and the tsunami of tweets and comments here and elsewhere the Scottish referees, via Mr Muir, have delivered a giant GIRUY to the rest of Scottish football. 

    It took a lot of courage for Stevie Clark to speak out tonight. It will present a challenge for the mainstream media in Scotland. The press down south will have no such qualms. They will speak the truth. Ironically the last manager who said his team need not have bothered turning up in a match against Rangers became the Scotland manager.  I don’t think that’s going to work this time around somehow.

  22. Saw the Sky Sports clip of Stevie Clarke at his presser.

    Looked very emotional.

    If Gerrard had any class, he should apologise to Clarke and berate his own fans.


    But, guessing the SMSM will be more focused on 'playing the man' and have a real go at Clarke instead.

    Brave words from Clarke.


    Wonder how the SFA will handle this: probably charge him.


    And, I really do hope that Rodgers and other SPL managers convey their support of Clarke very publicly.

  23. SPFL – Chief Executive, SFA – CEO, SFA Board Members, Scottish Club Owners, Scottish Club Chairmen, Managers, Assistant Managers, Coaches, Players, Sports Journalist, TV commentators, Radio Presenters, TV Pundits, Radio pundits

    The above list, and I am sure there are many more, are all are involved in Scottish Football to one extent or another.  All the above have, at some time or another, had "foreigners" operate in the role.


    Why is the role of a referee so different that it can only be performed by a Scot, other than the fact that it always has been?

    It seems so blindingly obvious that the "all Scottish" referee situation is an anachronism that is well overdue the bin   I can't understand why the outcry and the desire to "stick by the lads" mentality. 

    Am I missing something here?  

  24. wottpi 20th February 2019 at 21:14

    Scottish Football Away Days on Facebook has clip of Bachmanns sending off.


    I expect the Killie keeper will have the red rescinded but the damage to the game as a contest was dealt a severe blow with what was an utterly ridiculous decision. Retrospective action should be taken against the Rangers player for conning the officials, however after Rangers very public show of strength through a friendly media this week I think it is highly unlikely retrospective action will be taken against any of their players again this season. 


  25. BBC Scotland’s morning news programme provided a short report on last nights game at 08.23. Their sports reporter Phil Goodlad read the report which featured commentary of Morelos scoring his fourth goal. No mention was made of Kilmarnock’s penalty claim or the simulation leading to the red card or even the fact that Kilmarnock were reduced to 10 men. This was followed by an interview with Pat Bonnar from Valencia. He was asked to comment on the sectarian chanting directed towards Stevie Clarke. Pat Bonnar gave a typically neutral reply.

    A show of support for Stevie Clarke from the other managers would no doubt be welcome however a clear statement from his own club would have much more impact. One thing is certain, the Scottish media won’t.

  26. Just to recap, the following is from the FA's website.


    Violent conduct is when a player uses or attempts to use excessive force or brutality against an opponent when not challenging for the ball, or against a team-mate, team official, match official, spectator or any other person, regardless of whether contact is made.

    In addition, a player who, when not challenging for the ball, deliberately strikes an opponent or any other person on the head or face with the hand or arm, is guilty of violent conduct unless the force used was negligible.

    Q5: Why is striking/hitting someone’s head or face (when not challenging for the ball) regarded as violent conduct?

    There has always been an expectation from football that someone who deliberately hits someone on the head or face should be sent off – striking the head or face is potentially very dangerous so unless there is very little force used, this will be a sending-off (RC) as football must discourage this unacceptable behaviour.


    Therefore by motioning his arm towards Kamara's head the ref sees a potential strike to the head/face. So the question re Bachmann last night was the degree of force.

    Yet we know that Morelos kicked McKenna but that was not decreed as being forceful. Similarly Paul McGinn's forearm smash at speed to Cammy Smith's head in the St Mirren v Dundee Utd only warranted a yellow.

    Out of interest, Smith then chops McGinn shortly after the forearm incident in a similar desperate studs up lunge as to Candeias last night and gets a yellow. No punishment for Candeias last night but Garruccio gets sent off for something similar on Sunday.

    As for penalties we know Defoe got one for dropping easily the other week but last night Brophy's actions were swept aside by the official.

    Regardless of the clubs involved the inconsistency across the board is incredible.


  27. StevieBC 21st February 2019 at 00:43'..

    "I honestly don't think the SFA has a clue how to deal with this"


    You are correct, StevieBC:

    The SFA  lied in 2012 in order to ensure the 'continued existence' of RFC 1872 (after they had had to recognise that club's  death by liquidation, while  agreeing to the admission into Scottish Football of a new club to become an ersatz RFC 1872).

    Having done so, the SFA is committed to ensuring that the new club, TRFC, succeeds.

    That lie has had the same kind of effect in Scottish Football as  Brexit has had and continues to have in the larger world of UK politics- chaos , muddle, destruction of any kind of trust, and incredible disregard for truth.

    Everyone  in Scottish football  knows that  the SFA is a discredited, dysfunctional body, and so far despised that even at the height of controversy about refereeing, two most blatantly unsound decisions were made by a referee( known to be a partisan in private life of the ersatz Rangers), in what seems to me to have been a gesture of utter contempt and disregard  of impartiality and personal integrity, although wholly in line with need to ensure that the ersatz Rangers succeeds.

    As a liar, the SFA are finding out that their lies are coming back to bite them on the ar.e 

    It is time that this whole sorry mess engaged the attention of the Scottish Parliament. 

  28. Killie have had some week, have they not? First up Celtic and some their fans hit a Killie player with a coin, call him an O****e b*****d, damage seats, let of flares and invade the pitch.

    Then Rangers and poor refereeing decisions cost them a potential place in the next round of the cup and their manager gets called a F****n b*****d by some Rangers fans. 

    Steve Clark has been absolutely brilliant since he became Killie manager. He’s completely transformed his team and is never afraid to speak his mind on a number of topics, last night’s sectarian abuse just the latest one.  

    So I can’t see him lasting much longer in Scotland or getting a fair shot at the Scotland job when it becomes available in the future. I’m hoping this could be the start of a proper debate on bigotry in our game but looking at the tone of the reporting in some of the papers this morning I doubt it.   

  29. A fairly predictable statement from Rangers, which means they will continue to do nothing.

    Chris McLaughlin‏Verified account @BBCchrismclaug

    Rangers statement following Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke’s comments about sectarian abuse at Ibrox: “Rangers wishes to make it clear unacceptable behaviour will not be tolerated at Ibrox. Everything will be done to eradicate this kind of behaviour.”

  30. Great post match (well not really a match due to ref and biased decisions) interview Steve Clark. He actually stated during the interview how could he speak about football. It is such an embarressment to all fans (except you know who..) that a manager had to endure this anti catholic racism during a game and then emotionally portray it to the nation. He was exactly right when he stated sing about a black b****** and action would immediately follow.  This country openly accepts anti catholic racism and that is how it is and nothing gets addressed on this issue (token gestures spring to mind but never tackled head on and IMO it may never will). SKY Sports reported this last night so a wider audience will see what actually gets ignored in oor wee friendly open country Scotland.  I have not looked at any of our smsm papers concerning this matter but we I know deep down the approach they will take and no doubt we all can guess how they will avoid this problem.  It will be an old firm thing, one is as bad as the other approach, we will need to do something but actually what they are thinking is we will do absolutely f*** apart from condeming Mr Clark.  This new club (who have always  signed catholics) seem to have bought the history of the old club's fans, or maybe they duped over. To the actual football match itself well Mr Alan Muir will be held in high esteem down Govan way for helping the new Ibrox club to stay in the cup.  Bias now does not cover it, Mr Muir is a fan of the Ibrox club and also a freemason (like several of our refs ). So he actually played a blinder and will not be asked to explain his actions. It is open season now and this year is not the return of honest mistakes it is the year of refs honestly trying to aid one club.  I can accept poor decisions from poor refs and no doubt we all can, but this seems to be taken a step further than honest mistake and poor decisions and openly so. What country could most refs be fans of 1 club and referee that clubs games knowing it's rivals have been far superior over the past few years. If common sense prevailed then all refs (like in England) should state any allegience to any football club and not referee a game involving that club. If it is a case where most refs are conflicted then bring in refs that are not.  It is easy to resolve IF the SFA wanted to.  All football fans and clubs should applaud Mr Clark on his actions because the smsm will not and his future in Scotland I am sad to say may be in doubt.    



  31. Steve Clarke’s comments are to be commended by all right thinking people. He put a number of issues under the microscope which I just hope other managers and clubs (including fans) back up strongly with concerted action. In the absence of support I would be concerned that Steve Clarke decides to walk away – why stay and take the personnel abuse while trying to succeed against institutionalised bias when he could easily ply his trade elsewhere – leaving our football a much poorer place. Fundamental change to our football governance and wider society is long overdue.

  32. Ex Ludo 21st February 2019 at 08:54
    This was followed by an interview with Pat Bonnar from Valencia. He was asked to comment on the sectarian chanting directed towards Stevie Clarke. Pat Bonnar gave a typically neutral reply.
    Has anyone asked kris Boyd to comment? he had lots to say last week about sectarian singing.

  33. Steve Clark’s comments were honest and straight to the point. The headline in one of the papers was how Clark ‘mocked’ Rangers for suggesting sectarianism was a thing of the past when he spoke to them about the managers position and ‘criticised’ Rangers fans for the sectarian abuse he received. 

    The headline has changed now but what chance is there of having a measured debate on the topic when that’s the starting point? That somehow the main thing to take from the match is Clark being critical of Rangers and not that he suffered sectarian abuse?

    Predictably the Rangers statement makes absolutely no mention of the dreaded S word. What an embarrassment. 

  34. Cluster One 21st February 2019 at 12:47

    Boyd is quoted in the same BBC article re last night and the quote is 'I was subjected to sectarian abuse ur Rugby Park at the weekend' indecision

  35. Scottish football in the 'Dark Ages'?

    If only!

    There are still dinosaurs roaming the corridors of Hampden.

    …with pea-sized brains as well…

  36. It's all good in the 'hood: Ian Maxwell has issued a statement…



    Thursday 21 February 2019

    Ian Maxwell, Chief Executive at the Scottish FA: "The Scottish FA condemns in the strongest possible terms the spate of incidents this season involving unacceptable conduct in Scottish football. This season we have witnessed match officials and players hit by coins, sectarian singing at matches and abusive and threatening behaviour towards match officials, players, managers and coaching staff. This behaviour is completely unacceptable and simply has no place in football, or indeed Scottish society.

    "Football has a responsibility to take action. We must do all that we can under our current rules and engage with clubs to seek to eradicate such behaviour.

    "This issue, however, is not one that football can solve on its own. To that end, SPFL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster and I recently met with Cabinet Secretary for Justice Humza Yousaf, Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing Joe Fitzpatrick and Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Bernie Higgins to discuss unacceptable conduct in football and how we can work together to address this.

    "We will seek further discussions in light of the most recent events to maintain the momentum for change."


    If someone was looking for the definition of 'vacuous', you could direct them to that statement.


    I wonder if Mr. Maxwell was at the game last night? I wonder how many games at Ibrox he has attended since taking up his post? I wonder how many games he attended as an official of Partick Thistle? His silence up to this point condemns him, to me at least. He’s paid to lead, yet is now hanging desperately on the coat-tails of a club manager, who’s chosen to speak the unspeakable.



  37. So the SFA says …….. let's get the government to sort our problem. 

    The last attempt at legislation didn't work too well.

    I keep hearing about this “societal problem”, but I don’t believe that there is a widespread problem where there is a mass public demonstration of the bile and hatred that is tolerated in football.

    Orange Walks could be construed as such a public demonstration, but virtually all of those pass off without incident or abuse directed at others.

    I’m sure that there are many racists, bigots, homophobes, misogynists etc., throughout society, but not many feel the need to publicly demonstrate their intolerance, outside of football.

  38. Looks like the SFA CEO has also held a 'summit' with politicians and the police. That's nice.  


    And absolutely no mention of the unacceptable standard of refereeing…again.


    Nothing's going to change, IMO.


  39. Lady Wolffe could well close off the case of TOP v King next Friday

    LADY WOLFFE – Commercial Clerks

    Friday 1st March

    By Order

    P341/17 Pet: The Panel on Takeovers and Mergers for orders under section 955 – Dentons UK – Lindsays



  40. easyJambo 21st February 2019 at 16:59

    '…Lady Wolffe could well close off the case of TOP v King next Friday.'


    Noted, thanks, eJ. I shall make every effort to attend, of course.

    I'm probably in a minority of one in thinking that while the TOP, who petitioned for contempt action to be taken against King , might well have no further interest now that King has finally complied with the TOP's order, the fact that Lord Bannatyne's order  was not complied with timeously, but only after a lot of time-wasting , defiant and perhaps consciously misleading prevarication by King [while he tried to get his ducks in a row to ensure that the requirement to comply would not become unconditional, thus minimising the amount that compliance would cost him] has still to be dealt with by the Court.

    I hope that Lady Wolffe might  mark the Court's displeasure by a few words of censure at least, and send a strong message that, never mind whether inferior bodies are happy to accept being cocked a snook at, the Courts at least are not to be trifled with.



  41. Pleased to see three men have finally been arrested for allegedly sending abusive messages to John Beaton. We all love our football and we all get hugely annoyed at the Referee, but they are as entitled to live their lives in safety and peace as the rest of us are. 

  42. Jingso.Jimsie 21st February 2019 at 16:14

    '…It's all good in the 'hood: Ian Maxwell has issued a statement…'


    The statement includes this gem:

    '…To that end, SPFL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster and I recently met with Cabinet Secretary for Justice Humza Yousaf, Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing Joe Fitzpatrick and Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Bernie Higgins to discuss unacceptable conduct in football ..'

    There can no greater 'unacceptable conduct' in football than the deceitful conduct of  Scottish football's governance body (and others) as demonstrated by the absurd 5-Way Agreement and the refusal to  examine openly and transparently, the 'Res 12' issue. 

    On the Res12 issue, it cannot be long now before established, on-the-record , objective evidence and facts relating to it are passed to the Police for investigation into a possible crime of fraud involving former/current members/officers of the SFA and/or persons associated with a club in liquidation.



  43. I heard Richard Gordon, on the Sportssound Podcast yesterday, comment that “When you’ve got a stand full of hundreds or thousands, potentially, of fans who are singing these kind of songs … you can’t pull out 3,000 fans right?”

    This is a squirrel, a complete nonsense, and applies to pitch invasions as well as illegal singing and abuse.

    IMHO the answer is simple and proven, over here, to be effective.

    1. Increase the fine substantially say to $5,000 as it is here in Western Australia for pitch invasions, or even more.
    2. Proclaim loudly in the media, and broadcast before every match, that transgressions will be not be tolerated and some will definately incur the $5,000 fine.
    3. Widely publicise the successful prosecution of offenders

    The fact that thousands are NOT charged is completely irrelevant and of no consequence.  In the case of Pitch Invasions, there may be an incursion onto the field of 100 fans.  It doesn’t matter.  The stewards simply must apprehend one or two, the other 98 can get off scot free.  In the case of singing, identify and arrest a handful of the thousands.  The fine and publicity afforded these one or two soon dissuades the vast majority from risking being the one mug who cops the $5,000 fine.

    In my humble opinion, this “reverse raffle” will act as a successful deterrent

    Now, what constitutes offensive, sectarian singing?  thats an entirely different question…

  44. Sinnicle 22nd February 2019 at 04:41


    Very good suggestion, Sinnicle, though this 'reverse raffle' method has always existed within policing large numbers of wrongdoers, both within, and outwith, football. No one bats an eyelid when a half-dozen or so football casuals, or street gang members are arrested from a crowd of 20 or more of the lowlifes, who then face the wrath of the courts. So, as you say, there is nothing to stop the police from making random arrests of lawbreakers, no matter how large their actual number is, and no fresh legislation would be required. 


    And your idea that fines should be of a very large, and very restrictive, nature is, in my opinion, great; for not only would it (one hopes) deter the morons, it would remove the risk of clubs being innocently (because it's not their fans) penalised.


    This would, of course, work with the sectarian and racist singing and chanting as well, with random arrests, and subsequent large fines, waring away at the desire to inflict their vile hatred on society – and shut the excuse-makers up.

  45. For generations football has been used to "normalise" behaviours that would not be acceptable in mainstream Scotland.

    It has never been the primary source of bigotry per se but I'd argue now it is a prime differentiator keeping the flames of differences burning.

    As a non old firm fan from a town where west coast entrenched attitudes didn't exist I was originally bemused at the antics of some of the Glasgow clubs' fans and thought they were almost funny.

    This was back in the 70s and I knew then and am still convinced today they had no place in either football or society.

    One of the biggest issues however is that I'd argue that two clubs in particular still benefit from being the polarised choice for fans who choose to use their football alignment as a personal statement about their personal Scottish tribe.

    Without this type of differentiation I'd argue both clubs would lose some of the rationale for the hard (and not very pleasant) fact that they have both punched well above their weights recruiting fans outside their Glasgow hinterlands since the early 1900s.


    I don't know the answer and I also accept that there are deeper societal issues but football has done very little to make it difficult for the bigots to thrive partly because there is an unspoken nod and a wink realisation that the divide has been and is indeed still good for differentiation/polarisation and hence business at both of our two biggest clubs.


    Politicians don't want to grab the tail of this particular crocodile either. 


    I'd start with making clubs liable for their supporters in domestic games as in Europe as in Strict Liability –  a concept our clubs are doing everything  they can to avoid.


    Initial acts of bigotry (as pre-determined agreed and communicated) would lead to playing the next matches behind closed doors.

    Further acts would lead to points deductions and fines.


    It really could be that simple.





  46. Sinnicle 22nd February 2019 at 04:41
    20 0 Rate This

    I heard Richard Gordon, on the Sportssound Podcast yesterday, comment that “When you’ve got a stand full of hundreds or thousands, potentially, of fans who are singing these kind of songs … you can’t pull out 3,000 fans right?”
    Was he suggesting it is not a minority anymore?

  47. Finloch 22nd February 2019 at 08:45

    I'd start with making clubs liable for their supporters in domestic games as in Europe as in Strict Liability –  a concept our clubs are doing everything  they can to avoid.


    Initial acts of bigotry (as pre-determined agreed and communicated) would lead to playing the next matches behind closed doors.

    Further acts would lead to points deductions and fines.


    It really could be that simple.


    That would be great, if it could be achieved.

    The only worry I would have with this is the question of who would administer the system and how it would be administered. Given the clear evidence that the Scottish footballing authorities for many years have been, and remain, complicit in cheating on a major scale, I do not have confidence that the system would be administered fairly and consistently. I would have to see a significant change before I would be satisfied of that. How can we have confidence in any new systems of accountability for clubs in Scotland, when the authorities who would be responsible for implementing them refuse to acknowledge and be held accountable for these major, indeed scandalous, past failings themselves? 

  48. Arrests, reverse raffles etc All pish.

    Football is effectively run as a private members club.

    The members of that club can apply any rules they want.

    When the singing or pitch invasions starts the chairman of the club whose fans are behaving in an offending manner simply waves a red flag from the directors box and orders his manager to withdraw his players from the field of play.

    Said Chairman announces on the PA he/she will not allow his players back on the field until the singing / poor behaviour stops, otherwise they will simply forfeit the game.

    Plenty examples of music performers taking such action when their fans get out of order or are in trouble.

    Like I said the other day,  instead on people putting their head in the sand, issuing vacuous statements and blaming others, just own the problem.

  49. SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell says they will “not countenance” referees being brought in from other countries.
    Today the SFA has confirmed that talks took place, but categorically ruled out foreign referees being brought in.

    “For the avoidance of doubt, at no point during Monday’s meeting did any discussion take place on referees from outwith Scotland, nor will the Scottish FA countenance such a notion,” Maxwell said in a statement
    It’s our Baw and no one else is getting it then.

  50. Cluster One 22nd February 2019 at 11:04

    SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell says they will “not countenance” referees being brought in from other countries.
    Today the SFA has confirmed that talks took place, but categorically ruled out foreign referees being brought in.

    “For the avoidance of doubt, at no point during Monday’s meeting did any discussion take place on referees from outwith Scotland, nor will the Scottish FA countenance such a notion,” Maxwell said in a statement
    It’s our Baw and no one else is getting it then.


    It seems Brendon wasn't too happy with the German one last night!

  51. bordersdon 22nd February 2019 at 11:25
    At least he can be content that the ref was just rubbish not bias

  52. Cluster One 22nd February 2019 at 11:04

    '..nor will the Scottish FA countenance such a notion,” Maxwell said in a statement'


    If there was no discussion of the possibility of utilising the services of referees from outside Scotland, on whose authority does the  CEO speak when he makes such  a definitive statement which rules out  future discussion?

    What if there were to be another referees' strike, or other sudden circumstance which reduced the number of Scottish referees available at any given time?


  53. Bordersdon@11.25

    So we’ve had countless numbers of foreign players, a whole raft of non Scottish coaches and managers including the national coach, a fair number of foreign owners and major shareholders (and now the Americans are here there will be more to follow), international sponsors but as far as the SFA are concerned there will be no non Scottish referees in Scottish football.

    Is it just me or are the SFA about 100 years behind the times? Or is there a darker reason ?

    Its been said before that the clubs are the SFA and the SFA are the clubs. So where is the problem?

  54. Finloch 22nd February 2019 at 08:45

    '….there is an unspoken nod and a wink realisation that the divide has been and is indeed still good for differentiation/polarisation and hence business at both of our two biggest clubs


    Not to mention being still good for the SMSM! – which, instead of hounding out all of the financial rogues who brought Rangers of 1872 to ruin ,and ripping apart the rottenness at the heart of Scottish Football governance made manifest first by the UEFA licence scam and then by 5-Way Agreement , bent and continues to bend every effort into propagating untruths and myths.




  55. John Clark 22nd February 2019 at 11:47
    ‘..nor will the Scottish FA countenance such a notion,” Maxwell said in a statement’
    “For the avoidance of doubt, at no point during Monday’s meeting did any discussion take place on referees from outwith Scotland, nor will the Scottish FA countenance such a notion,” Maxwell said in a statement.
    So we will just have to put up with the rubbish scottish referees week in week out. I believe that is what he is saying.
    In any other job in life would this be acceptable?
    Become a scottish referee, even if you are shite at it you will not loose your job.
    Maxwell guarantee. Great job advert.

  56. Feel very sorry for Stevie Clarke.

    I wonder if he is thinking now;

    "Why did I even bother to open my mouth?"


    Having only joined the SPL a year ago, he should be absolved of any blame or complicity: it's not his fight.

    And, I would be very surprised if he is still a manager in Scotland next season.

    IMO, any move to a bigger club in Scotland – or as national team manager in the future – has also been knocked on the head, by Clarke himself.

    And who can blame him?

Comments are closed.

Stay Connected


Latest Articles

About SFM

SFM is a community of football fans who want to see the game in Scotland run fairly and in a manner that befits true sporting endeavour